Enlightenment is a funny thing. As with any quest in life, the path of spiritual growth is littered with inherent imperfection, decided upon, seemingly, with but the whim of its own disposition. We have little control over why, but we must, in any case, be walking. To be doing so is essential. But we must also each sometimes double back, with the sense that we may have missed something along the way. Or just to visit a particular section over again, which we remember all too well; to lay our coat down over a puddle so someone else won’t step in it, for it soaked our socks and lead to the painful blisters we’ve endured for years for fear of being barefoot. Now, more than ever, our ability to discuss our pain – those passages through time where we were bleeding – allows us to reach one another, and aid in keeping our feet dry in the first place.
Yet even as any experience should breed knowledge, we must remember that an experience alone cannot breed wisdom. The sharing of context is key. There is always the danger of stepping in a puddle. And a few blisters are of course preferable to an alternative, like having to step through broken glass without any shoes at all.
What I mean to say is that it seems an anecdote cannot fully capture its own nuance, just as a still photograph can capture but a split second of humanity. Our existence as solitary creatures is simply too vast to pretend otherwise. But as with anything, there are certainties. Like when a butterfly flutters its wings, somewhere a tree creaks with the breeze. It’s fairly easy to digest that basic cause and effect.
I’m not sure, however, if it makes a difference that there are butterflies. I really can’t decide. But if one of them should fell a tree, I feel it is important to not condemn their wings, or merely mention how strong the tree once seemed. For you know, you can build just about anything from a fallen tree. Especially a fire around which to gather and discuss how much blood we’ve lost from the cuts and blisters we’ve garnered from a path strewn with obstacles. To compare what remains of our shoes. And ask why certain people have so many pairs.